What are the stages of Non Small Cell Lung Cancer?

By  ,  National Institute of Health
Jan 05, 2013

The following stages are used for non-small cell lung cancer:


Occult (hidden) stage


In the occult (hidden) stage, cancer cells are found in sputum (mucus coughed up from the lungs), but no tumor can be found in the lung by imaging or bronchoscopy, or the primary tumor is too small to be checked.

Stage 0 (Carcinoma in Situ)


In stage 0, abnormal cells are found in the innermost lining of the lung. These abnormal cells may become cancer and spread into nearby normal tissue. Stage 0 is also called carcinoma in situ.

Stage I


Stage I non-small cell lung cancer.:In stage IA, cancer is in the lung only. In stage IB, the cancer may do one or more of the following: (a) grow larger in the lung, (b) spread to the main bronchus of the lung, (c) spread to the innermost layer of the pleura that covers the lungs.

In stage I, cancer has formed. Stage I is divided into stages IA and IB:

  • Stage IA: The tumor is in the lung only and is 3 centimeters or smaller.
  • Stage IB: One or more of the following is true:
  • The tumor is larger than 3 centimeters.
  • Cancer has spread to the main bronchus of the lung, and is at least 2 centimeters from the carina (where the trachea joins the bronchi).
  • Cancer has spread to the innermost layer of the membrane that covers the lungs.
  • The tumor partly blocks the bronchus or bronchioles and part of the lung has collapsed or developed pneumonitis (inflammation of the lung).

Stage II



                                                                                                  Source: www.cancer.gov


Stage II non-small cell lung cancer. In stage IIA, cancer has spread to lymph nodes on the same side of the chest as the cancer. In stage IIB, cancer is either the same as in stage IB and has also spread to lymph nodes on the same side of the chest; or cancer has not spread to lymph nodes but has spre...

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